A few weeks ago I got it into my head that I HAD to go for a hike. Thankfully, mother nature was kind and delivered three days of above freezing weather to Chicago. I took advantage of a day when it was 35 degree and rambled over to Palos Forest Preserve. (I went there in the summer and really loved it. I figured I should check it out while it is snow covered.)
Over the summer, I drove over to the Wolf Road Woods parking to start my hike from there. This time around the road was closed right at Pulaski Woods. (PDF of trail map) So I parked there and walked up the icy road to make my way to the head of the orange trail.
Getting there on the iced asphalt was a bit dicey, but once I got onto the trail it was all good. It was a mix of slush, mud, and ice, but doable. Most of the other people I passed on the trail were with dogs, so if you have any, this may be a good place to take them. The pups are saw were running about in pure glee.
My boots crunching in the snow made my walking pretty loud, so I didn't really see any wildlife unless I stopped for a few minutes. What I did see, in these moments of rest, were woodpeckers, blue jays, and squirrels. The woodpeckers were especially noisy and the Blue jays were so so blue against the snow.
I saw some people skating on the iced-over lake that is in the preserve, though I don't know if I would have risked it with the temps above freezing. Either way, the snowy romp was exactly what I needed and I hope I can visit the preserves at least one more time before winter is out.